Aboriginal education in NSW public schools

Strategies to achieve outcomes for Aboriginal students P-12 and increase knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal histories and culture.

Key directions for Aboriginal education

Important information to support your school in planning to meet the identified needs of Aboriginal students.

Walking Together, Working Together, the NSW Department of Education and NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc. Partnership Agreement 2020 – 2030

The Partnership Agreement is based on a genuine and practical approach to working together to improve outcomes for Aboriginal learners by ensuring that they have access to an education and training system that values their cultural heritage and identity and supports their learning and career development through quality teaching practices, relevant policies and strategies and inclusive curriculum and training programs.

The outcomes are:

  1. The educational outcomes for Aboriginal children and young people will be as good as or better than those of the general student population of NSW.
  2. On completion of school, Aboriginal young people will confidently express and demonstrate their knowledge of the cultures of their own Peoples as well as their achievement of western education.

You can download the Partnership Agreement and also find your local AECG contact representatives.

For information about the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership, you can visit their website.

English as an Additional Language/Dialect

The Capability Framework: Teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander EAL/D learners is a cross-jurisdictional initiative between the;

  • NSW Department of Education
  • Northern Territory Government
  • The Department of Education (Western Australia) and the Queensland Government

It was developed to increase the capacity of teachers in rural, remote and metropolitan areas to better meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander EAL/D learners. The Framework is aligned with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and can be used by teachers and school leaders to;

  • Inform practice, self-assess their capabilities and to inform professional learning goals
  • to determine staff professional learning needs in the area of teaching Aboriginal EAL/D learners
  • support teachers in the accreditation process through the PDP process

It is highly recommended that teachers familiarise themselves with The Capability Framework.

Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students

All schools are required to incorporate excellence and improvement measures for all Aboriginal students in the schools Strategic Improvement Plan (SIP) and detail the steps you will take to improve learning outcomes.

For further information on excellence for all Aboriginal students visit School Excellence in Action.

Aboriginal educational contexts: Aboriginal English

Deadly Dialects builds the capacity of P-2 staff in the quality teaching and learning of Aboriginal learners in areas of additional language and literacy.

For further information on Aboriginal English visit Deadly Dialects professional learning.

Developing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a formal statement of commitment to reconciliation. A school of early learning centre can develop a RAP using the Narragunnawali platform.

For more information on developing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for your school, visit the Reconciliation Action Plan page.

Instructional Leaders (Primary)

This initiative developed in 2020 aims to improve Aboriginal student outcomes, attendance with a focus on wellbeing. The program will build teacher capacity to engage Aboriginal students in learning while enhancing connections to the local community.

It is a key responsibility of this role to provide staff with focused and tailored professional learning along with strengthening school leadership and the cultural safety of the school.

There are currently seven instructional leaders – Aboriginal Education (Primary): Armidale City Public School, Bombaderry Public School, Braddock Public School, Casino Public School, Glebe Public School, Mount Austin Public School, William Bayldon Public School.

Aboriginal Learning and Engagement Centres

The Aboriginal Learning and Engagement Centre (AL&EC) initiative was implemented in 2020 to support the increase in proportion of Aboriginal students attaining their HSC by 50 per cent by 2023 whilst maintaining cultural identity.

Through the provision of wellbeing, academic and cultural support the AL&ECs aim to enhance outcomes for secondary Aboriginal students, with a focus to improve student engagement, attendance, retention, HSC attainment and support for students at key transition points to progress.

Statewide Staffroom

Join our curriculum specialists in a Statewide Staffroom set up in Microsoft Teams for expert advice, resources and professional learning.

The Aboriginal Education Statewide Staffroom is a safe and welcoming space available to all school and Education Support staff to build their confidence and knowledge of Aboriginal peoples, histories, cultures, topics, and resources.

Your membership request will be granted within 24 hours. You are required to log in to your Microsoft account using your department email.

NSW AECG Inc. Programs

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Youth Development Camp

The Aboriginal Outcomes and Partnerships Directorate, together with the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Incorporated (NSW AECG Inc.) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA) is committed to supporting and raising the academic achievement of Aboriginal students.

These camps inspire and motivate students to participate in STEM subjects, consider STEM as a future career or investigate the many diverse and interesting areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Image: STEM camp.

Junior AECG membership

Junior AECG membership is open to all Aboriginal students in Year 6 to 12 enrolled in school and is supported by the NSW AECG Inc.

Junior AECG membership provides opportunities for young Aboriginal students to develop leadership skills, communication skills, public speaking skills and provides a voice for young people to express their opinions and perspectives on issues relating to Aboriginal education.

To learn more about Junior AECG membership phone 02 9550 5666.

Additional programs supported by AOPD

Clontarf Foundation

The Clontarf Foundation provide mentoring, wellbeing and support services to Aboriginal boys in NSW public schools. The Clontarf Foundation currently operate, in partnership with the department, across 48 NSW public school sites.

National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy

The National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA) provide mentoring, wellbeing and support services to Aboriginal girls in NSW public schools. NASCA currently operate, in partnership with the department, across 10 NSW public school sites.

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